Situated right in the heart of Europe, this little country is certainly a paradise for all skiers and fans of winter sports. With about 63% of Austrian total land area covered by the Alps, it doesn’t surprise so much the fact that almost a fourth of the total population live currently in the capital, Vienna. Austria attracts every year many tourists coming from all over the world to enjoy its uncontaminated natural landscapes and its pristine fresh air. Its massive mountain Grossglockner is one of the highest peaks in the whole Europe.
Despite its relatively small size, Austria has given birth over the years to many prominent personalities. Just in the field of music, we all remember incredible talented composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss, Arnold Schoenberg, Franz Liszt and several more. And if we extend the list to other areas and disciplines we can’t forget to mention other famous characters like Ferdinand Porsche (father of the homonymous car manufacturing brand and designer of the legendary Volkswagen Beetle) and Sigmund Freud (founder of the modern psychoanalysis). Even the famous Hollywood actor and former governor of the state of California Arnold Schwarzenegger has Austrian origins.
Also from a culinary point of view this country has a lot to offer. Austria’s cuisine has a very long tradition and has been influenced overtime by Italian, Hungarian, Czech and even French cuisine. Typical Austrian dishes include Wiener schnitzel, Schweinebraten, Strudel and the super tasty Sachertorte. And if you get thirsty after eating all this food you can always have a good Austrian beer. The most common type is definitely the lager but if you want to try something a little bit different most restaurants and bars also offer a wide selection of wheat beer and bocks (strong lagers of German origins).
If you plan to visit this country you can’t really avoid a quick stop in Vienna. Together with nearby Bratislava, this city forms a region containing about 3 millions of inhabitants and the whole city centre was recently nominated UNESCO world heritage site. Certainly not to be missed! Other top sites to visit include Belvedere Palace, Karlskirche, Schonbrunn Palace, State Opera House and the Imperial palace. Saint Stephan’s Cathedral (“Stephansdom” in German) is also one of the most visited places in Vienna because it is the seat of the Arcibishop. The South Tower in particular is quite an important symbol of Vienna, at the point that a law forbids other buildings of the city to be taller than that. The North Tower instead has never been completed.